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The Lord of Milan



The Lord of Milan

Presentation of the book The Lord of Milan (Blurb Inc, 2016)

The author Robert Nieri will be present, in dialogue with John Foot, Luther Blissett and Jared Wilson.

In 1891 Italy was a young country in search of an identity, a land of growing cities, of new rich and poor and social unrest. Only the privileged few had time for leisure: to row, cycle, climb mountains or join gymnasium clubs. But an industrialist had returned to Turin from England with a book of contacts and a leather ball, enthused by the wondrous game of football. He recruited skilled labour to his business and in the summer of that year brought over from Nottingham a young textile worker and amateur footballer called Herbert Kilpin.

Kilpin would work in the mills and factories of Northern Italy for over 20 years but his mission in life was to bring football to Italians after realising they had little idea how to play the game. For years he played in Turin, a losing finalist in the first two Italian championships. Then he moved to Milan and in 1899 founded Milan Football and Cricket Club. Founder, first trainer, captain of the club that would in time be better known as AC Milan, leading it to its first three Italian championships and numerous trophies: “Our colours will be red, because we will be the devils and black, signifying the terror we will strike into the hearts of our opponents.”

The Lord of Milan, a novel inspired by the story of Herbert Kilpin, has been published in English and Italian on the centenary of his death: 22nd October 2016.


Robert Nieri has written The Lord of Milan, a novel based on the life and times of Herbert Kilpin, the founder of AC Milan, and launched the Italian version at the club’s headquarters last October to mark the centenary of Kilpin’s death. He has been working with LeftLion Extended, an award winning media company, on a documentary about Kilpin and his importance to the club’s fans, to be premiered in Nottingham and Milan later this year. In his spare time Robert is a commercial lawyer who works primarily with national charities.

John Foot is an English academic historian specialising in Italy. Since 2013 he holds the Chair in Modern Italian History at the University of Bristol. Among his publications: a widely acclaimed history of Italian football, Calcio, published in 2006, and the first critical history of the radical Psychiatric reform in Italy – led by Franco Basaglia – The Man who Closed the Asylums. He writes regularly for The Guardian, the TLS, the LRB and many other publications.

As a pseudonym, Luther Blissett first appeared in Bologna, Italy, in mid-1994, when a number of cultural activists began using it for staging a series of urban and media pranks and to experiment with new forms of authorship and identity. For reasons that remain unknown, the pseudonym was borrowed from the real-life Luther Blissett, a notable association football player, who played for A.C. Milan, Watford F.C. and England in the 1980s. Luther Blissett’s has truly been a career of two halves: firstly as a highly successful striker and the first black player to score in an England shirt. From that to a successful media commentator, charity spokesperson and uniquely having a global creative anarchy movement named after him “The Luther Blissett Project”.

As a journalist, Jared Wilson has written for the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, The Big Issue and NME. In 2003 he founded Nottingham’s cultural and entertainments magazine LeftLion and since then it has grown to become a multimedia company and agency. In 2014 a collection of Jared’s interviews with British film director Shane Meadows and his cast was republished by Edinburgh University Press in the British Journal of Cinema and Television. Since then he has led a team who have made short films with the likes of Jermaine Jenas, Viv Anderson, Sleaford Mods Ross Noble and Ollie Hynd MBE.


Date: Monday, June 26, 2017

Time: From 7:00 pm To 9:00 pm

Organized by : ICI London

Entrance : Free


ICI London